I write a novel in individual chapters then I assemble the whole thing when I have the first draft done ("done" is a relative term sometimes, but you get the idea).
When I start a book, I always have the opening hook -- how the murder occurred, who found the body, etc. As I go, I know each chapter has to have an ending hook, something to draw the reader forward. So each chapter is like a mini-book, with a beginning, middle & end.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm a mini-plotter. I usually know how a chapter (or scene) will begin and end. So I work on those, jotting notes for upcoming scenes I may want to include. Since I work in chapters, I know that by Chapter 4 I want to have This, That and the Other done (characters introduced, or red herring put in, or whatever). By Chapter 10 I want This or That to occur and by Chapter 17 or 18, I want to be wrapping up.
This method makes it relatively easy for me to stay on track and keep the book moving forward. So I guess I'm a plotter in that I plot out scenes, but I'm a pantser (I really dislike that term, but don't know what else to use) in that I'm never sure how the book will wrap up.
Hmm. Best of both worlds?